I had the most random meeting, yesterday afternoon. It was a job interview, in a town called Kotayam, which is an hour by train from where I am now. It’s for a teaching position in one of the better schools in Kerala (which is the state I’m in right now), some even say one of the better ones of India.. But that’s a bit of an exaggeration I reckon.
I went there, without any expectations. Not even knowing if I’d still be India, not even knowing if I wanted the job. The job is offered through an agency that takes on teachers and places them in different schools around the state. I had spoken with the man doing the interviews, and he’s from England. So, if I’m to be totally honest, one of my main reasons for going to the interview, was so I would get the chance to have a nice flowing conversation with someone from the same “walk of life”. The fact that it was also for a potential teaching position, was a big bonus! The interview, even though I was unprepared and unexpected of anything to come from it, would at least give me the feeling that I’m making things happen and applying the “process of elimination” when it comes to my options in India. Because, I have to face facts: decisions need to be made - 2 more weeks left in this teaching job.. Time is ticking!
The longing had become so big for me to meet with someone from outside of India over the past few weeks. This meant that meeting a foreigner, a westerner, a person whose mother tongue is also English, was a breath of fresh air. It was really what I needed. I met him - his name is Byron by the way - we chatted and of course we shared our opinions on Indian life and we had a good old moan! I was suddenly able to speak without adjusting the speed at which I talk, I was being understood on more levels than 1! Wouw; What a feeling! The afternoon only got better, when a lady walked in, also from England!! Yay.. Another western girl! We clicked instantly. We started chatting and I got so comfortable being with these 2 people, that I forgot it was an interview. This lady, whose name is Patsy, is absolutely amazing. Really. The 3 of us chatted for a while, as if we were friends, meeting after so long. Afterwards we even went for a drink at a hotel in the town. Byron was wanting a beer, so was Patsy.. And the strangest thing happened: I said “no” to the alcohol! I couldn’t believe it. Even they were shocked! The first beer I have been offered since being in India, and I’m saying “no”! I had one sip for the taste but even that was too much. Wouw. What a new experience that was.
After 2 hours they brought me to my train. It was the first time for me, since being in Doris’s company back in February, to be walking the streets of India, with other Westerners by my side. It was strange, it was different and the stares weren’t only at me. It took a lot of the strain and pressure away and life felt to be so much lighter. What a brilliant afternoon and I discovered so much and it was exactly what I needed, right at that moment. How amazing..